Photographer reveals amazing pictures from 1974 Norfolk double decker jaunt

Daniel Meadows and his Free Photographic Omnibus

Daniel Meadows and his Free Photographic Omnibus - Credit: Daniel Meadows

A photographer has reflected on his visit to a market town back in the 70s.

In August 1974, professional photographer, Daniel Meadows brought his double-decker bus to the Bridge Street car park in Fakenham and took photographs of local people.

Fitted with its own darkroom, the bus allowed the photographer to get right to the heart of the town. 

market day in Fakenham

A view from the church roof on market day in Fakenham - Credit: Daniel Meadows

The project was part of the free photographic omnibus project sponsored by the Arts Council to record the changing face of England in the 1970s.

Mr Meadows also secured regional funding for places across the country but was unable to in East Anglia.

He thought he would not have the chance to visit the region until invited to by the Fakenham Festival Committee, chaired by Elizabeth Stennett-Wilson.

The 69-year-old called the chance ‘joyous’ as his mother and father were both from Suffolk originally.

A shop keeper in Colkirk

William Hannant of Colkirk. - Credit: Daniel Meadows

Most Read

“I can remember the experience depended on the weather and if you had a good parking spot, market day in Fakenham was lovely," Mr Meadows said.

“For somebody to come along and take their photos, which people could collect the next day, was a bit of an event. 

“When you turned up people could get suspicious thinking ‘what’s the con here.’

A reverent stand on top of the church roof

Rev. Hugh Buckingham - Credit: Daniel Meadows

“None of that in Fakenham - it was a relaxed market day, it was a good feeling. Some places I went I had a miserable time but not in Fakenham. It was lovely.”

An exhibition of all the images was held in the Conservative Club in May 1975.

The images were lost in Fakenham for several years.

two firefighters playing with a hose

Firefighters Brian Kirby and David Palmer - Credit: Daniel Meadows

In 2013, Lisa Smerdon, who helps to manage Fakenham Community Centre, offered a ‘box of photographs’ to the Fakenham Community Archive which she had discovered in the attic of the community centre.

The week-long exhibition in May 2013 was staged in Fakenham Parish Church.

The original photos now reside in the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford, but when Mr Meadows went to look to see who still had the images he donated to the towns, only two remained - Fakenham and Newcastle.

Two people pose for the camera wearing hats in front of a doorway

Two unknown women pose for Daniel Meadows's Project - Credit: Daniel Meadows

“It is particularly joyous that the pictures are still there and a record of what went on at that time.”

All the photos from the free photographic omnibus project visit to Fakenham can be viewed on the Fakenham Community Archive's website.

 A girl on horseback in Fakenham

Sandra Temple on horseback in Fakenham. - Credit: Daniel Meadows